Sunday, July 31, 2011


I am all over the place right now.  Not literally of course.... I am sitting on my couch.  

I woke up an hour before my alarm went off this morning.  I have been rising fairly early, which is nice because it leaves me more time to get less accomplished (yes, you read that right), but damn...some days I just want to sleep in a little bit longer.

Restless, and annoyed (by 6:30am, yes), I walked to the coffee shop.  I picked up the paper, a cup of coffee, and a bran muffin.  POW, morning plans taken care of.

Or so I thought.  I just spent too many minutes looking on for boots.  Yes, it's hot as heck outside, but I don't want to do like I did last year and wait too long to get a pair of winter boots.  I swear last winter I spent more time looking online for a good pair of boots than I did actually outside doing stuff.  Okay, so maybe that's over-exaggerating a touch, but not by much.

Last night, I went to a celebration of life for my friend Felix.  It was a beautiful tribute to a beautiful man who was taken from this world far too soon.  As I was driving home (from his celebration), I was thinking that we really do need to celebrate life, everyday.  He was someone who did that.  I, however, do not.  

Lately, yes, I try to be more mindful of each day, and to take things in stride.  But really celebrate?  I'm not sure.  <-- which actually means no, I don't celebrate life each day.  Life is short, and sadly, as more friends pass away, I am reminded of this.  It shouldn't take someone dying to spark my zest for life, my reason for living, my purpose of being.  I should celebrate life each day.  We all should.  We should celebrate each other, everyday, because no one can say for sure when our last day will be.

Death scares me.  Life scares me too sometimes.  

The title of this blog is places, because I feel like this morning I am all over the place.  I have to go to work in a few hours, and I'm waiting for this muffin and coffee to digest a bit more so I can get a quick workout in. 

Last night (after felix's), I laid low and played piano.  My "big" keyboard is broken, so I played with my little Axiom 25 (which I still haven't really learned the ins and outs of).  It was nice to handed of course, like a 5 year old.  It was nice to listen to a song, and for lack of better terms, "sound it out" and learn it for myself.  I like doing stuff like that.  It's simple.  It's calming.  It can sometimes get frustrating, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.  Wow...I'm full of cliche phrases.  

I need more nights like last's where I focus on me, focus on putting positive energy into the world, and letting my creative side get a little more creative.  Despite feeling low this morning, I know I have the whole day in front of me to make it better.  And if it doesn't, I'm the only one to blame.  I'm learning that I can't control others...I can only control myself.  I'm learning how others control me, and what I need to do about it.  I'm in the thick of learning a whole lot about myself and the world right now.  

Pema Chodron says it best..."Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know."

Saturday, July 30, 2011

youtube is my crack cocaine

I don't do drugs.  I do wikipedia and youtube.  

I was sent the name of a song earlier, so I looked it up when I got home.  That lead to me looking up a few dozen other songs.  Somehow, I landed on Jonny Lang's "Lie to Me." 

It brings me back to junior high....when kid Jonny Lang was no longer a kid, and our whole band (the Sugar Divas) absolutely loved him!  Ridic....but also a really talented musician. 

What I like about "Lie to Me" is twofold.  First off...I appreciate his hair.  It's like every boy I went to school with in Junior High.  Secondly, I appreciate his know, putting his heart into his music... you can see it in his guitar playing, hear it in his voice, etc.  We don't see that as much now days....with things like auto-tune and whatnot.

I don't know what I'll listen to tomorrow.  Everyday is another toss up, if you want to know the truth.  Lately I've been listening to "God Save the Empty" by some lady (I forget her name).  In the meantime...thank you Jonny Lang for putting out good music many years ago.  You bring me back in time with a push of a (play) button.  Xoxo.

Side note....I've been running/working out more lately.  It's been SO good.  I feel good when I run, I feel good when I'm active (mentally and physically).  I'll write more about all that sooner than later. 

Peace out y'all.  And for the love of whoever, go hug somebody.  They might need it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Song of the Day (and other ramblings)

Woke up at 5am today.  Was at the gym by 5:35.  Got in a short run and a good lift.  Home now.

Song of my day...

I saw Lauryn Hill perform this January.  She puts on a good show.  A real good show.

I saw Sia perform for the 3rd time (in my life) last Friday.  She is hilarious.  I want to hang out with people like her...funny people, who ask for gifts, and shove them down their pants once they get them.
I don't have much to say.  I need to shower and get to work. 

Oh...I entered in the lottery for the Twin Cities 10 mile race this fall, and I got in!  That's me something to look forward to and work towards.  I don't remember my time from last year's 10 was something like 81 minutes, or close to it.  My goal was to run faster than 80.  I did stop for a mimosa at mile 8, which I honestly don't think slowed me down.  If anything, the extra carbs helped get me to the end quicker!  My goal this year is the run a sub 8 pace.  I think I can do it, if I continue to train and stay semi-disciplined. 

My neighbor saw me running on Summit the other day, and said I run like a gazelle.  I had to laugh, because when I ran at Central, my friend's dad said I ran like a deer, to which my friend replied, "You run like a deer that's been hit by a car."  That is because when I ran, my left wrist was limp (probably because I wasn't very strong).  I suppose I did look like a wounded deer.... skinny legs, big belly, and antlers coming out of my head.

Holy smokes....I'm tired, and rambling.  Time to shower, eat, and gitter done.  

To those who read this blog, enjoy life.  We've only got one chance.  Happy Tuesday.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

We are losing!!

We are losing our people to drugs.  We are losing our people to addictions.  We are losing our people.  And by "our people", I don't necessarily mean Indian people, or young people, or people with incredibly sexy ankles.... I mean we are losing our community. 

I slept in this morning, which was nice, considering the last few nights I was averaging about five hours of sleep.  I checked email, sent a few emails, read up on the news and of course opened facebook to get "the real news."

I started working (again) on editing headshots for work.  It is a slow process, which is will get done.  I got distracted, imagine that, and went back on facebook.  "Oh man, Amy Winehouse" a friend had posted.  What about Amy Winehouse, I thought?  She must be in the news again for drugs.  She often is. 

A few minutes later, more posts showed up.  "RIP Amy Winehouse," one read.  "A damn shame," another said.  "I knew I should have added her to my dead pool," my brutally honest friend wrote.

Amy Winehouse, helluva vocalist, dead at 27. 

What the fuck, people?  Where is our responsibility to our friends and family?  Granted, Ms. Winehouse was neither friend nor family to me..but she was to somebody.  If we see that someone is struggling with addiction (food, drugs, alcohol, or otherwise), when do we step in? 

I've recently been in the position of "concerned friend" and it took a long time to realize that even though it's scary, if you are truly worried about someone you care need to step up.  I'd rather lose a friendship than lose a friend.  Does that make sense?  If I know someone is hurting themselves, I'd rather say something and risk having them hate me, than risk them losing their life. 

Last year, the Twin Cities lost a well known and respected rapper to a drug overdose.  After his death, a lot of people talked about what they "could have" done, or "should have" done.  I had a conversation with a new friend that summer about what our responsibility is...when do we step in and say "Hey, I love you, I care about you, and I'm worried about you." 

It's odd to me that the death of Amy Winehouse prompted me to write a blog.... I listen to her music, sure, but I've never had that "heart" connection to her.  I've felt bad for her in the past, but more so annoyed, because she was wasting her talent.

Drugs can really fuck up a life.  So can alcohol.  And eating disorders.  And depression, dependency, addiction, self injurious behavior, etc... It sucks.  I've had friendships and relationships suffer (or end) due to addictions, and it's a horrible feeling.  It's the worst ever to see a friend/partner/family member slowly take their own life.  And sure...from what I understand, addiction is beyond the control of the addict... but I think that folks on the outside, need to step up and step in to be with our friends and family who struggle with these demons.  We need to tell our people that we love them.  We need to show our people that we love them. 

I've got so many amazing people in my life; some of whom are struggling with addiction.  I will be damned if I let them become another statistic, another dead rapper, another Amy Winehouse.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What Will You Bring?

I woke up this morning, in bed, on top of my sheets, wearing next to nothing. was not a traumatic was a hot night.  And not hot in a fun sexual way...but hot as in the overnight low was probably 80 degrees.

My alarm went off at 7am, but I'd already been awake, tossing and turning.  I had been dreaming about fishing...up north (not at my grampa's cabin, but with his fishing gear).  Anyhow, I laid awake in bed, and despite being awake, hit snooze on my alarm several times before actually getting out of bed.  

As I laid there, I thought about what I was going to bring to this day.  Everyone has an obligation to bring something to each day...but it should ultimately be their decision.  (note: the word obligation is a big might not be the word I am looking for, as I don't like feeling obligated to anyone).  Regardless, in order for society to work (better), we all need to contribute something positive each day.  What was my contribution going to be?

Endless amounts of energy and smiles?  I doubt it.  I'm so effing tired...and have been for a while.  Laughter?  Ideally, yes.  But who can make that guarantee?  I laid there a while longer, thinking about how I could pose this as a facebook question, but then felt all too self-righteous like a Buddhist poser or something. 

My genuine self.  That's what I will bring today.  I try to bring my genuine most real self everyday, and I think I do a pretty decent job of it (those who've seen my mood swing can attest that I don't always hold back my emotions).  If I bring my true, most genuine real self to the world today, I have to believe that things will be okay.  

Everything happens for a reason, whether it is part of God's plan or it's just in the stars.  Even the things that really suck (natural and unnatural disasters) happen for a reason.  If I didn't believe that, I don't think I'd make it.  I don't know why things happen as they do, and I don't know why I react and feel the way that I do.... but for now, all I can do is take it in stride.  All I can do is accept my feelings and the world around me as they are.  Yes, things need to change (my feelings and the world), but being too quick to judge isn't going to get anyone anywhere. 

I really believe that in this world, love is a crucial component to making things work, grow, inspire, and be.  It may not be love from another, but loving one's self is a good place to start.  In the end, that's all we really have.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Tuesday July 12, 2011

5:00am- Alarm goes off
5:09am- Alarm goes off
5:10am- I get out of bed
5:30am- J and I arrive/workout at the YMCA
6:50am- I arrive at Kowalskis to get Drain-O for my bathroom sink.  Also purchase 2 frozen burritos, a bag of cherries, a 12 pack of soda water, and a newspaper.
7:00am- "You Got It" by Bonnie Raitt plays on the stereo (at Kowalskis)
7:01am- I am brought back to when I was in 5th grade and listened to the "Boys on the Side" soundtrack on repeat.  It makes me smile.
7:58am- Getting dressed and ready to go to the bank to see about a loan for a houseboat.  
7:59am- Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Andy and I went camping a few days ago-- it was awesome.  Photos will be posted by the end of the weekend (ideally)...or actually right now.  My favorite part of the trip was Monday morning at 5am.  I told Andy I wanted to be awake to watch/photograph the sun rising.  He said it was okay if I woke him up, so I did as passively as possible... by opening and closing the zippers on my tent.  Surely he would hear that and get up on his own.  After zipping and unzipping and getting dressed and ho-humming along, I said "Andy, are you awake" in this really sweet voice.  "I am," he said.  A few minutes later, we were down on the dock to watch the sun.  

Having slept only about 5 hours the night before, we were both pretty tired.  I got some good photos, and then fell asleep in my chair.  It was perfect.  We sat/laid out on the dock for a couple of hours before packing up and heading home.  It was quiet, and beautiful.  Before we left, I told Andy I needed to go say goodbye to the lake.  I shuffled down the home made stairs built into the ground by the cabin, and I stopped at the "beach."  I looked to the left where my gramma's walking path was.  I had a picture of that path from several years ago, with the sun shining through the trees-- I always felt like my gramma was the sun in that picture.  On Sunday I had tried to recreate that photo to no avail.  When I looked at the path from the beach on Monday morning, the sun was shining like it had years ago.  A perfect photo opportunity, I thought to myself.  But like I had said the day before-- I don't need to recreate the past.  I need to just enjoy the present for what it is.

I walked to the end of the dock and looked out at the lake.  It was beautiful, as it always is.  The sun was high in the sky by then, and so I looked directly at it and took a deep breath in.  The wind was blowing, not too hard, providing a comforting breeze.  "Thank you," I said as I looked back across the lake.  "I miss you guys," I said to the sky, feeling the energy and love of my grandparents.  "And I love you."  I don't know that I believe in prayer or god very strongly, but I put my hands in prayer position and slightly bowed forward.  "Thank you," I said again.

I turned back towards the cabin and walked up to the car.  "Okay, I'm ready to go," I told Andy.  And I was.  

The west bay of Mantrap Lake

Where we spent most of our awake hours

Saturday night dinner-- prepared by Andy

Sunday night dinner-- prepared by Andy

Monday morning sunrise

Friday, July 1, 2011

My morning soundtrack....and weekend plans

Woke up, took a shower, and this song was in my head....

Which I thought was funny....because I feel much more like this....


Sad day.  So what else could be on my soundtrack for today? 


Better...I guess.

I am going up north tomorrow morning.  To my grandparents cabin, actually!!  I'm really excited.  I haven't been up there for years!  Andy Wilbourn and I are going...which is great to go camping with someone who knows what they're doing in the woods.  (Yes...we are camping at the cabin...that way we don't mess anything up).  We had hoped to camp at a state park, but low and behold, the Minnesota State Government has shut down.

Regardless, I'm excited to fish off the dock, go explore the woods, check out the other lake my family owns (I remember going there only one time, so there's lots of learning to do).  I'm pumped to walk the trail that my gramma loved to walk.  

I was talking to a coworker yesterday, and said that if there was any one place I felt the most close to my grandparents, I think it would be the cabin.  

We leave Saturday morning, and return Monday early afternoon so I can get to my moms 4th of July Party (which for her is more important than xmas, not because she's super patriotic, but because it's when our family used to always get together-- when my grandparents were alive-- and go to Saint Anthony Park for the parade and BBQ).  It's an important day for my mom, and I'm glad to be a part of it.

Our summer program at work starts on Tuesday, which means we've been working hard to get everything ready.  I'm excited to get going on things!  I'm hoping it will be a good's been a (personal) challenge so far (I was sick for a month)... so anything really is better.

Things I need this summer: cool friends to hang out with (especially ones who like to run, meditate, practice yoga, and don't spend a lot of time/money/energy around booze).  Oh, I also like to BBQ so I want to find more folks who are into that too.  And people to go to coffee shops with, and sit around at a park and read books or watch my pathetic attempts at drawing.  Oh yes, and photographers.  I know my new friend Tom has been wanting to do a night shoot...I need to take him up on it!  Oh yes...and I want a fishing buddy.  Duh.

I realize I can do all of this stuff on my own...but life sure seems more fun with it's enjoyed with other people.  I've done a poor job of reaching out to friends so far this summer (except in the last week), and it's something I want to do more of-- not reach out because shit hits the fan, but reach out because there are people in this world who I love (and I think love me) that we could grow together as friends and do positive things in, with, and for our community...or something like that.

Happy holiday weekend y'all.  Be safe!